top of page

Bad Apple



Bad Apple When the van was brought to a halt outside of Abigail’s new hideout, the sense of relief in the air was both apparent and tangible. Well, hideout wasn’t maybe quite the right word. Abigail had possessed the deed to this joint for forever and had left it sitting here for a moment just like this. But beyond some basic setup she hadn’t ever set foot in the place. Up until a few months ago she’d been so busy with the school and all. Shutting the passenger door gently behind him, Victor looked up at the entrance with a strange mix of awe and amusement. “I still can’t believe you own this place,” he shook his head. “Do you know if any of the machinery is still intact?” “I never touched it,” Abigail replied, grabbing her small bag of things from the back. “It’s probably rusted to hell by now, but unless some hooligans came in and stole it, it should all still be there.” Victor’s face lit up like a Christmas tree, managing to glow even through the rain. “Alright, dorkasaurus,” Abigail rolled her eyes and smiled. “Let’s get all this stuff in and then we’ll go take a look around.” She grabbed her phone out of her pocket to check the time. “It is getting pretty late.” Victor seemed to remember something as his eyes were drawn to the bright case. “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask: what was that call you were making earlier?” “It was nothing,” Abigail shrugged it off. “Just an old friend that I wanted to catch up with.” She grinned in that way that meant she wouldn’t tell him now, but sooner or later would become very relevant. Not soon enough, it would seem. He briefly pondered this as they ducked inside of the hideout and out of the rain, but eventually decided that it wasn’t worth the effort. If it was important that he knew, she would have told him. The hideout was a building only to be imagined in dreams, at least for Victor. Machines and tools littered the many rooms, and if he’d had time, he would have loved nothing more than to spend a solid week examining, exploring, and dismantling them. Alas, they were on a bit of a schedule, so all he had time for was the dismantling part. Abigail, on the other hand, seemed to find it cold and unpleasant, and severely lacking in reading material. They couldn’t go into town to get some, either. Though no one knew the connection between Abigail Hodge, Student Librarian and the mysterious Director, Ede Valley was too small a town. It was more than likely that she’d run into a member of the Miller family or one of their numerous acquaintances than she was comfortable with. So all she could do was pick through the meager supply of books that she’d managed to stash here before Adelaide’s went sky high and maybe order one or two online. It was incredibly heart-wrenching for her to see her whole collection of secret and occult materials reduced to little more than a single shelf. She mourned her first edition copy of The Golden Bough like a member of the family. But luckily for her, there wasn’t much time for reading. Defenses and other fun mechanisms of pain had to be constructed around the building, and research for Victor’s project had to be done. Once most of the necessary structural modifications had been made, Victor increasingly shut himself in his new laboratory. They had to be prepared in case Abigail couldn’t figure out how the Truth really worked. She had another plan altogether, of course, one that Victor didn’t know about. But that would be highly inconvenient and only to be used as a last resort. More and more, however, it was looking as though that may have to be the route she would take. As helpful as the shred of Truth she new possessed was, that’s all it was, a shred. She was able to conduct many tests and experiments on it, as it was practically identical to the bit of Truth in her own head. But what she found was that the thing was damn near indestructible. She couldn’t destroy it with a nuclear reactor, let alone anything that would allow her to survive the attempt. This was when she could even work at all. Shortly after they arrived at the hideout, Abigail began suffering horrible migraines that got worse by the day. It knew that she was trying to destroy it in earnest now, so it was going to kill her first. She didn’t have much time now, and her own endeavors had gotten her nowhere. Victor’s project hadn’t fared any better. That was not to say that it failed, it actually seemed as if he’d had some sort of breakthrough, but he would be of no use to her anymore. One afternoon, she stumbled over to his workshop after realizing that she hadn’t seen him in two days. Oddly enough, as she approached the door, Abigail didn’t hear any noise. No mechanical bangs or hums, no muttering from Victor, just silence. First, she knocked. Waited for a minute. No response. She knocked again. Still nothing. “Victor?” she asked. Then, after another minute of silence, she shook her head, and opened the door. Inside was pitch black. No lights at all. At first, she thought that he wasn’t even there. But out of the corner of her eye, she caught some sort of movement towards the back of the room. Abigail flung the door wide open to douse the room in light, and just stared for a moment into the stark interior. Then she turned right around and closed the door behind her. With both her main hopes failed, Abigail only had one option left. She grabbed her phone and dialed a specific number. If there was one person she wanted to be the executor of her affairs, it was him. It was time to tell Mike everything.

~~ o ~~ When he got the call on the small Nokia, Mike was in the middle of another day of counting the atoms in the ceiling. It helped him to concentrate on small details like that, to block out everything else. He hadn’t noticed last time because he’d been so intent on answering the call, but now, alone in his bedroom, Mike definitely recognized the ringtone. It was set to play that one song from that weird weeaboo game that was nearly impossible to get into. Fitting for who was on the other end. The already high-pitched song whined through the tinny speakers, and Mike scrambled to press the accept call button. He held the phone an inch away from his ear, fully expecting that infamous voice to blast out his ear drums. But it didn’t come, for the next few seconds there was only silence. “Hodge?” he asked. “I’m here,” she said on the other end. “And I wish you’d call me Abigail, Mike. There’s no need to be so distant.” “We’re not friends,” Mike frowned, though his face softened a second later. Something was very wrong here. He heard laughter on the other end, but far more muted, more ordinary than he had ever heard from her before. “I know, I know. I sort of ruined your life. I don’t expect you to ever forgive me for that. But yet, in some strange way, I feel as if what I did to you made you... understand me better than anyone, and that now I understand you. Am I wrong about that?” He paused, considering, and shortly came to the conclusion that it was oddly true. Even after the events of the project she’d been able to predict his every move, and see the inside of his mind that even he couldn’t see. Without any special powers, she had still outplayed him at every turn. And he always knew exactly why she was doing it. “Yes,” he said finally. “You’re probably right.” “I feel like I can trust you, Mike. Is that strange? I’ve never trusted anyone before. So I’m going to tell you a secret. But, if I do, I need your promise that you’ll help me.” “I’m not going to kill anyone,” he stated bluntly. “Not ever again.” He could hear her smiling. “Play your cards right and you won’t have to.” Though he didn’t like the implication she was laying in front of him, Mike sighed and played along. “Alright, I promise. Now what’s your secret?” “I’m dying, Mike.” He froze, not quite able to understand. “Well, that can’t be all of it, right?” And it wasn’t. There was a lot more. And she told him everything. Or, at least, what he was pretty sure was everything. And when she was done, she simply hung up, and left him to sit there and mull over everything that she’d said. It was crazy, bonkers even. But knowing Abigail, this plan of hers just might work. Mike took a deep breath, and reached for his real cellphone. She had told him where she was, and he had promised Doug that he’d relay any info back to him. He knew for a fact that he was safe in doing so, and that there’d be no repercussions from Abigail. She’d told him to do it, after all.

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page